Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Fuqra & Operational Security

Former head of counterterrorism in India, B. Raman, writes prolifically these days about jihadi organizations, their inner workings, and the threats they pose to civilization. He is particularly well-versed in the organizations that have been bred in Pakistan. Jamaat ul-Fuqra is one of the organizations with which he is quite familiar and has written many times about.

In one of his latest pieces, "The Jundullah", he describes the growing trend of freelance jihadis who are operating independently and also discusses the threat many western countries now fear from "homegrown terrorism". He begins his article thus (emphasis mine):

This is my second article analysing the British fertiliser bomb case in which the judgement was delivered by a British court on April 30,2007. In my earlier article, I had referred to the extensive roots taken by the Pakistanised version of Al Qaeda in the UK and the danger of this spreading to the US and Canada.

From this, one should not jump to the conclusion that the US is not yet facing threats from home-grown jihadis of Pakistani origin in its territory. It has been since the 1980s. The very active US and Canada-based cadres of the Jamaat-ul-Fuqra (JUF), a Pakistani jihadi organisation with headquarters in Lahore, were the first generation of home-grown jihadis in the US and Canada. They used to indulge in fire-bomb attacks on Hindu and Jewish places of worship in different parts of these two countries in the 1980s. They had also alarmingly penetrated the security forces of some States in the Caribbean. At that time, there was no Al Qaeda or the International Islamic Front (IIF) and yet, the intelligence agencies of these two countries were greatly concerned over the threat posed by this organisation to their internal security. The intelligence officers of the US and Canada, with whom I used to interact, used to describe the JUF as the most secretive and security-conscious jihadi organisation of Pakistan. Daniel Pearl, the US journalist, paid with his life in the beginning of 2002 for trying to make enquiries into the suspected links of Richard Reid, the so-called shoe bomber, with this organisation.
Troubling stuff, to be sure. The Fuqra cell that was broken up in Colorado some years ago was a prime example of this. They operated in strict secrecy. Access to information was tightly controlled, outside contact was forbidden, even with members of other compounds, and orders were handed down directly from the shaykh in Pakistan. Of course, having studied this group for some time now, I realized the "homegrown" threat that they pose. What struck me was Raman's statement that they had a reputation in the intelligence community as "the most secretive and security-conscious jihadi organization of Pakistan". No doubt, their leaders' ties to the ISI contributed to such trained discipline. This sort of statement reiterates to me that they are an organization to be watched and taken seriously.

Jamaat ul-Fuqra: Homegrown Islamic Radicalism Since 1979


Counter-Jihadist said...

Thanks, CP. How timely. this report dovetails nicely with Mr. Williams' JuF article. Have you visited the Islamville website. Funny, no mention of the constant chatter of automatic and semi-auto weapons emanating from the 'jamaat' and wafting over the Catskills. Hmmmm... must be an oversight.

USpace said...

Scary stuff; of course they are secretive, they want to remain inside America's borders like a Trojan Horse...

absurd thought -
God of the Universe thinks
Al Qaeda are terrorists

all other wannabes
should be seen almost harmless

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
terrorists must have success

otherwise they were framed
in evil government plot

51st Blogger said...

Apologies CP if you've mentioned this previously, but there is a book out in the UK giving some sobering insight into homegrown islamoterrorists. In this case Ed Husain, a Brit, who joined a radical Islamic group bent on terrorism only to (fortunately) see sense and get out. The book, "The Islamist", recounts his experiences. There's a page in Wikipedia with links onto more information: